Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Cuba To Cut 500,000 Government Workers, Reduce Restrictions On Private Enterprise

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on September 14, 2010

by Will Weissert & Paul Haven for The Huffington Post, Septmeber 13th, 2010.

Cuba announced Monday it will cast off at least half a million state workers by early next year and reduce restrictions on private enterprise to help them find new jobs – the most dramatic step yet in President Raul Castro’s push to radically remake employment on the communist-run island.

Castro suggested during a nationally televised address on Easter Sunday that as many as 1 million Cuban workers – about one in five – may be redundant. But the government had not previously laid out specific plans to slash its work force, and the speed and scope of the coming cutbacks were astounding.

Cuba’s official work force is 5.1 million – meaning nearly 10 percent of all employees could soon be out of a government job.

Workers caught off guard by the announcement said they worried whether the tiny private sector could support so many new jobs, a sentiment echoed by some analysts.

“For me the problem is the salaries, that’s the root of it,” said Alberto Fuentes, a 47-year-old government worker. “If they fire all of these people, how can they all become self-employed?” (continue reading… )

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